Kit, Saliva Collection, Shuttle-Mir

Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This saliva collection kit was used for immune system research in space. Blood, urine, and saliva carry information about immune system status and the presence of bacteria and viruses. Some researchers studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body devise experiments that involve collecting and freezing these fluids for post-flight analysis.

This saliva collection kit contains color-coded and bar-coded vials, with sterile cotton stoppers, to identify each sample. It was part of a research project conducted on the Space Shuttle-Mir missions, a joint effort of the United States and Russia in multi-month stays on the Russian space station during the 1990s.

NASA transferred this kit and various other items from in-orbit research to the Museum after the Space Shuttle program ended in 2012.